BMW doesn’t just want to rely on battery electric vehicles to clean up its act and it still believes that hydrogen fuel cell EVs also hold part of the solution. The Bavarian automaker is among the few that are still investing in FCVs and it recently shared about how it cold weather tested the iX5 Hydrogen around the Arctic Circle, in some of the lowest temperatures on the planet.

According to information from a new press release, BMW intends to build small numbers of the iX5 by the end of 2022, but it’s not yet clear if this will be ramped up along with a planned increase in the number of hydrogen refuelling stations. In regard to the recent winter testing session, Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development said

The winter testing under extreme conditions clearly shows that the BMW iX5 Hydrogen can also deliver full performance in temperatures of -20°C and therefore represents a viable alternative to a vehicle powered by a battery-electric drive system.

For us to be able to offer our customers a fuel cell drive system as an attractive sustainable mobility solution, a sufficiently extensive hydrogen infrastructure also needs to be in place.

Gallery: BMW iX5 Hydrogen in der Wintererprobung

The iX5, unlike the iX3 which relies on a battery to store electricity, has two tanks made from carbon-reinforced plastic (CFRP) tanks where pressurized hydrogen is stored. This hydrogen is mixed with air in the fuel cell and the electricity that results from the chemical reaction is stored in a small battery and used to power the vehicle.

BMW sees FCVs as a viable alternative to BEVs, calling it the best of both drive worlds, and the company expects increased uptake in the near future. Jürgen Guldner, Head of BMW Group Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology and Vehicle Projects seems sure of this, stating that

Irrespective of the time of year and the outside temperatures, the hydrogen fuel cell drive combines the best of both drive worlds: the locally emission-free mobility of an electric vehicle and the unrestricted suitability for everyday use, including short refuelling stops, that we are all familiar with from models with combustion engines.

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